3 ways to boost your sales in a downturn

Charlie Clayton
January 27, 2023

With the arrival of another New Year, hospitality businesses up and down the UK are attempting to look ahead with optimism – but not all are easily doing so.

After all, it has been a grim time for many, buffeted by factors like high energy costs and employee shortages. So it’s no wonder that, for example, nearly 400 pubs in England and Wales closed during 2022, or that a quarter of a million jobs in the hospitality sector would apparently be at risk this year in the absence of extended government energy-bill support.

So how can a hospitality business like yours begin to brighten that picture through increased sales, seemingly against all odds?

Below are three strategies that the Slerp team would recommend.


Create a branded app for your business  


The statistics tell their own story about how eager customers are to order online quickly and conveniently from brands that they already know and trust.

Did you know, for instance, that about 70% of orders occur on a mobile device? This reflects the fact that customers are frequently not sitting at home in front of their desktop computer when they find themselves wishing to order from their favourite restaurant or takeaway.

Or what about the four in 10 (41%) respondents to polling who have admitted ordering from the same place again and again?

These are intriguing statistics. But how can you put your business in the “shop window” to be that business a given customer repeatedly uses?

One great strategy is to have your own branded mobile app created for your business. It’s a way of effectively giving yourself a place on many of your target customers’ phones, so that they will be constantly reminded of your business as an option from which to order.

Of course, it’s not enough for your takeaway, restaurant, or similar business to simply have a branded app; it also needs to be extremely attractive and intuitive, with the ability to accept different order types, such as home delivery and ‘click and collect’. Well, Slerp can help you with that.


Put in place an effective loyalty scheme 


In this piece, we have already touched on the importance of capturing the custom of those who are likeliest to order from you again and again. This is backed up by the data; 26% of research respondents have said that they “mostly” order from the same places, but even more interestingly, 84% have said they would be likelier to order direct if a loyalty programme was available.

During downturns, customers like to spend their finite money with “safe bets” – businesses that they already know and trust – and the situation isn’t much different when it comes to the hospitality sector.

A loyalty system, then, can be ideal for capturing and keeping hold of customers who will be given even less reason to look anywhere else for their food and drink orders.

In an extremely online world, Slerp can help equip your takeaway or restaurant with a loyalty scheme that doesn’t leave your target customers fiddling with awkward physical loyalty cards. Instead, it can all be incorporated into your aforementioned branded app and your broader online ordering system, with scope for a variety of rewards and tiers.

In short, we can help you build the loyalty scheme you want for your hospitality business. We’re talking about the kind of loyalty programme that will make a meaningful difference to keeping your sales and growth ticking over even during an economically challenging time.


Expand your range of available order types 


We have already referenced in this article some of the different ways in which customers now order from hospitality businesses like takeaways and restaurants. But is your business in the sector as ‘2020s-ready’ in this regard as it should be?

The circumstances of the last few years might have forced you to quickly start accepting online orders for delivery or collection from your brick-and-mortar site. However, that is not the same thing as having a seamlessly integrated shopfront able to quickly and easily accept all the popular order types of today.

It should be no surprise, then, that so many hospitality businesses turn to Slerp for the modernisation of their online ordering arrangements.


Whether you are seeking a solution that would allow your business to elegantly handle many types of delivery orders without the need to be present on a third-party marketplace, or you wish to invest in ‘order at table’ technology to help free up the time of your team members, we would be pleased to discuss how we can help.

The above three steps are all ones that could help your hospitality business in the UK to bolster its sales and maintain healthy revenues during an economic downturn, but you need to ensure you take the right approach. It’s easy to get started with us, so please don’t hesitate to enquire today.

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